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Federal Funds Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Dairy OperationsSubmitted: 04/25/2013
Story By Associated Press

MILWAUKEE - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the federal government is renewing a pact with the dairy industry aimed at decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Vilsack says the federal government has helped thousands of dairy farms implement conservation plans, build anaerobic digesters and conduct energy audits under the original 2009 agreement.

The dairy industry has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service has spent $257 million since 2009 to help the dairy industry reduce its emissions.

Vilsack says he expects a similar, if not greater, investment over the next four years, although the deal signed Wednesday does not specify an amount.

Vilsack counted among the successes the construction of 178 anaerobic digesters that convert manure into methane for fuel.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)



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 IN OTHER NEWS

WISCONSIN -

Turkey season began last week and hunters have a new option for what they can do with the turkeys they shoot.

The DNR started a turkey donating program this year.

You can donate turkey's to three processors in the southern half of the state.

"A little bit further south of here in areas where there's usually a lot of deer donations and a lot of turkey shot so that we can try and get some good participation for the first year," said DNR's Wildlife Biologist, Jeremy Holtz.

The meat is donated to food pantries. The hope is to have the program be successful and grow to other parts of the state, and potentially here in the Northwoods.

"It may be that meat processors in Marathon, Lincoln or Langlade County would have no problem with that. But when you get further north, it may be less common for meat processors to handle wild turkeys on a regular basis," said Holtz.

The processors use the breast meat. The DNR is asking hunters to not just donate the scraps.

"Processors will be removing the breast meat from the bird and they'll be grinding it up and making it available at food pantries as ground turkey," said Holtz.

If you want to see a list of the processors, follow the link below.

There are also turkey permits still available. Contact your local DNR office for more details.


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MADISON - A Republican-backed proposal that would ban the coverage of abortions for Wisconsin state workers has cleared the state Assembly Health Committee.

The panel approved the bill Wednesday on a party-line vote, with all Republicans in support and Democrats against.

It now heads to the full Assembly for consideration.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - WARNING: Some of the above video is disturbing

In late February, a Lincoln County Deputy shot and killed a man who was shooting at him.

On Tuesday, the Lincoln County District Attorney said Deputy Sam Steckbauer was justified to use deadly force.

The DA made this decision after an extensive investigation by the State's Department of Justice.

The DOJ released video taken from the squad car footage, police scanner traffic, and a 911 call that helps explain what happened that night.

It started with a call from a nervous driver, and it ended with the death of 40-year-old Shawn Igers.

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WAUSAU - Children with special needs often can't enjoy the delights of a playground. Wausau's Josiah Hoerter's dying wish was to see a wheelchair-friendly playground in his own backyard. However, after he lost his life to a rare genetic disorder, MECP2 duplication syndrome, his family decided his wish should live on.

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TOMAHAWK - Dealing with memory loss or caring for someone suffering with it can be challenging. 

One woman wants to make sure the Tomahawk community has a place where those people can receive the support they need.

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EAGLE RIVER - Carter Heller considers one room in his high school a home away from home.  The Northland Pines junior spends most class periods -- and even district in-service days -- using the 3-D printers, vinyl cutters, and other machinery in the fab lab. Tuesday morning, Heller learned how his second "home" is about to grow thanks to a $25,000 grant.

"Everything about it makes you want to be in here," Heller said.  "It allows our capabilities as a school to expand a lot."

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PARK FALLS - You won't find store bought eggs or bagels at a new restaurant in Park Falls. 

You'll recognize the sunnyside up eggs, but they don't come from a grocery store. 

None of these ingredients at Valerie Mae's are store bought. 

Owner Jacob Griepentog literally takes fresh ingredients from his family's farm and serves them every day at his restaurant. 

 "The fresh mint. I pick it up and I smell it. And all a sudden my brain is creating dishes I want to eat, and thus I want other people to eat," said Griepentrog. 

Jacob created his not-so-traditional menu using the same mindset his parents have at the family farm.

Curry tree leaves, lemon grass, and fig trees are some of the other exotic plants grown at the family farm.

And at some point, they'll be on the Valerie Mae's menu, too. 

What Jacob can't get at his family's farm, he turns to other local farmers.

"I see 45 days, 50 days, 90 days, 120 days of a farmer's life: wind, rain and weather." 

Jacob says farm to table style dining might be a little intimidating at first, but it's worth a try. 

After all, the menu changes week to week. So if you don't like it, just wait. 

"I spend hours, maybe a week testing them preparing them, whatever the season is." 

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